This section provides the visitor with the content and background for the subjects in the petroglyphs, such as humans, animals, and plants. It also provides interpretations of complex scenes that incorporate many figures that together convey an event. The scenes mostly depict activities relating to hunting and warfare. In this section, the visitor will learn about the people who created the rock art of Saudi Arabia and their environment.
Human figures are of extreme interest, although their full meanings continue to elude us. Neolithic hunters in Ha’il province were tall, slender individuals with novel heads shaped like stovepipes with an angular symbol on top, probably connoting a headdress or a hairstyle. No features are portrayed on the individuals’ faces.
The lion is one of the four large felines, second in size only to the tiger. The male lion has a distinctive mane, and their coats have been very valuable through history. Lions have been associated with persons of high status through the millennia and across the continents. Lion hunting has been a sport of royalty and nobility around the ancient world.
The hyena has a dog-like body with strong forequarters and a back that slopes down in the rear. The neck is long and powerful and the muzzle is blunt, with powerful dentition for crushing bones. This species has a pale gray or beige body with black stripes on its sides and a black and white tail. The body hair is long and shaggy, with a crest from head to tail that stands erect [...]
In ancient times, there were three species of gazelle in Saudi Arabia: the Mountain Gazelle, the Saudi Gazelle, now extinct, and the Sand Gazelle. Gazelles were once much more abundant on the Arabian Peninsula, but the combination of hunting and overgrazing by livestock have greatly depleted their numbers, leaving only small relict populations